Dubbo College Senior Campus principal Marisha Blanco said she was "extremely proud" to hear the news her school was named as one of the schools with the biggest improvements in student HSC success.
"I was elated on behalf of the whole school community, It really just affirms the hard work that we are doing across all programs. These programs mean nothing if we don't have effective people running them," she said.
"This achievement did not happen overnight and has been the result of the commitment of staff, parents and caregivers including our P&C and the support of the Dubbo community including the Dubbo local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and Dubbo Regional Council.
"It's really been a collective response to what our aspirations are for the youth of Dubbo."
The news of the achievement was delivered to the school by Department of Education Secretary, Georgina Harrison, who said it's something which is "a moment of reflection and celebration, and an achievement the school can be immensely proud of".
Ms Blanco said the secret to the students' improved results in 2022 was the "holistic approach" the school takes which brings the whole community into the students' learning.
"This really affirms that what we're doing is working and really galvanises us for another year of focused attention, and gives us the energy to be in that space," Ms Blanco said.
"Part of that is really supporting our parents. We're well supported by a very active P&C and a parent body that has high aspirations for their kids - we really target parents to make them really engaged and have them participate in their child's education."
"We give them really clear guidance on how they can support the achievement of their child."
Some of the school's programs which have been particularly effective include the Advancement Via Individual Determination (or AVID) program which works on building skills that are useful beyond the classroom and the mentoring program where students have a teacher advocate to guide them through non-curriculum skills.
"It doesn't matter what's happening in the classroom if the student's not in the classroom. We look at what may be the causal reasons of students not attending school and - more often than not - it comes down to a wellbeing issue," she said.
"That might be mental health, stress, it could be family and environmental related causes. So targeting the students and supporting families in terms of their wellbeing is a crucial component of students being able to school every day and be in classes every lesson.
"In this space we have whole school programs to support student attendance and engagement, through a range of initiatives including our mentoring program and Maranirra Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Centre."
Ms Blanco said while the school doesn't have any specific new programs they will be bringing in this year, the existing programs will continue to be tailored and changed to suit the needs of the current Year 12 cohort.
"We're relentless in our pursuit of continued improvement. We're always evaluating all of our programs and we pivot quite frequently and make adjustments based on what the data is informing us," she said.
"The student voice is a big component and the students give us feedback in regard to these programs and what's happening in the classroom."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: